Operation Clean Competition comes to R.I.
The Rhode Island Interscholastic League, the organization that manages high school sports in the state, recently announced the initiation of a new project, Operation Clean Competition. The project will begin in the upcoming academic year. Operation Clean Competition will provide educational messages to the athletes, coaches and parents across the Rhode Island about the negative impacts of human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing drugs.
The Rhode Island Foundation granted $75,000 to support the program. The award is the inaugural grant from the Clean Competition Fund, established in 2011 following a federal plea agreement with Genescience Pharmaceuticals. The fund supports outreach projects that support anti-doping, drug testing and clinical research.
“There was a lot of interest in this grant and we are thrilled and honored that the Rhode Island Foundation selected this program as the medium to educate the athletes of the state,” said Tom Mezzanotte of the RIIL. “In a time when school budgets are tight with programs and assemblies being cut, we are pleased to be able to offer this program to the RIIL member schools at no cost.”
The RIIL serves more than 25,000 athletes annually serving high schools across Rhode Island. There are about 5,000 coaches statewide.
The initial focus of Operation Clean Competition will be on the RIIL athletes and coaches through a series of assemblies conducted by the Taylor Hooton Foundation. The foundation was formed in memory of Taylor Hooton, a 17-year-old high school student who took his own life as a result of using anabolic steroids. The foundation is considered a national expert on the topic.
The project’s goal is to benefit young people by helping uncover the truth about HGH and other appearance- and performanceenhancing drugs, while gaining knowledge of the short and longterm risk factors. Additionally, Operation Clean Competition will help athletes make informed decisions and provide opportunities to share their knowledge with peers about the dangers of HGH and PEDs.